The drama (or perhaps it’s farce) that is the GOP’s 2nd congressional district chairman’s race is not over yet, as Sen. Frank Wanger has made it clear he will appeal the results of Saturday’s balloting:
Wagner now wants to overturn the outcome of a contentious convention process that again illustrated the roiling state Republican Party turmoil caused by establishment and conservative factions fighting over control.
“We’re obviously going to appeal,” he told The Virginian-Pilot Monday afternoon.
Colgate, through a spokesman, acknowledged Wagner’s right to challenge the result under state party rules, but cast it as a distraction to the focus on electing Republican congressional candidates this fall.
“For Curtis, we know that there is a ton of work that needs to be done to re-elect Congressman Scott Rigell and retire Senator Mark Warner,” Colgate aide J.R. Hoeft said in an e-mail. “Curtis is reaching out to Republicans across the district to get started on that work and ensure we are celebrating victories in the Second District this November.”
So it may be on to the State Central Committee, where there will be intrigue a-plenty (and as it is a somewhat leaky group, dribs and drabs of those deliberations will likely see the light of day).
A side point: a “State Central Committee?” It all sounds so…Soviet.
Coloring the run-up to this appeal has been all manner of hilarity on Facebook, where a small and, one would sincerely hope, unrepresentative sample of Sen. Wagner’s supporters who (working, it seems, under the banner of Eric Cantor’s “Young Guns”) have gone out of their way to savage Colgate supporters.
For the moment, I will give these entirely too excitable boys the benefit of not naming them here. But you can search around Facebook and see just how excited they have been.
Update: J.R. on The John Fredericks’ Show this morning…
J.R. appeared this morning on The John Fredericks’ Show, after Senator Frank Wagner, Del. Scott Taylor, and RPV Chairman Pat Mullins had their say. He boiled down the kerkuffle into a nutshell: do we want to be a party that focuses on the big issues or want to continue fighting each other?
Hoeft also took issue with the notion that Colgate is “for conventions,” a repeated mantra of the Wagner campaign. He spoke of how Colgate assured him, before he joined the campaign, that Colgate would take each nominating contest decision on its merits.
Hoeft wouldn’t go into details regarding the decisions or actions of the Second District committee, but certainly implied that a wrong had been righted with respect to the Virginia Beach Mass Meeting results. However, he believes that if the slate were seated instead, almost assuredly those 106 Virginia Beach residents who filed an appeal would have advanced their petition to RPV too.
In Hoeft’s view, we’re looking at parliamentary procedure and committees deciding the will of voters. Regardless of who that favors, that’s ultimately the failure of this entire process – and something that will be difficult to overcome down the road he said.